March’s Cheese, Please! Challenge Round-Up – Fresh Cheese

I wondered if asking people to make their own cheese and devise a recipe around it would be a step too far. I envisaged the tumbleweeds blowing across my blog throughout the month, as I frantically made cheese myself and cooked it up to make things look busy. But I under-estimated my fellow bloggers big-time and the sound of whey dripping through tea-towels echoed across the globe. A couple of them in particular (no names mentioned… ;)) seem to have become quite hooked on the entire process and I look forward to some magnificent creations clogging up their fridges and cellars very soon. But onto the round-up…

I was first off the block this month with a Yorkshire Curd Tart, a traditional dish that uses left-over curds to produce a somewhat savoury/somewhat sweet treat.

Yorkshire Curd Tart

Next along was regular Cheese, Pleaser Food Day-Dreaming with her Home-made Ricotta and Mushroom Pate, combining tangy ricotta with mushrooms, onions, lemon juice and spices for spreadable loveliness.

Image

Flippenblog initially panicked but rose admirably to the challenge with Ricotta Vegetable Pots. Using home-made ricotta with extra cheese and cooked vegetables these little cheesy pots are the perfect starter or nibble, filled with freshness.

Ricotta vegetable pot
Mrs Portly’s Kitchen took a different approach altogether, using yoghurt to make Home-made Labneh. With one half of them rolled in za-atar spices and the other half mixed with harissa and rolled in parsley and lemon zest, they are both spreadable and pop-whole-into-the -mouthable.

Image of labneh balls in olive oil

 

 

 

 

The marvellously-named Put on Your Cake Pants put on the said item of clothing next to bring us Orange Ricotta Poppy Seed Coffee Cake. Gloriously moist with the citrus tang of orange and a crunchy oaty, nutty topping, it would be perfect for coffee – or tea.

orange ricotta poppy seed coffee cake

 

 

 

 

Food Day-Dreaming was back with more cheese, this time plumping for a creamy version to cook up her Home-made Baked Ricotta. Resembling a little soufflé, these baked goodies are filled with pine nuts, chillies, parmesan and thyme for a great little starter.

Image

Edible Things was literally on fire with her first post. Not only did she make her own mozzarella but then magicked it into Hot Smoked Home-Made Mozzarella over a mixture of oak and alder chips. Hot stuff – and delicious-looking.

Smoked Mozzarella
If you’ve got a glut of mozzarella then what better than DIY Pizza with Home-Made Mozzarella. Edible Things returned with a recipe that used leftover whey to make the dough and then allowed guests to make their own pizzas from a variety of toppings – including home-made cheese. Yum!

Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Pizza
A new cheese challenger this month was Spicy, Quirky and Serendipitous who shared a Potato, Carrot, Quinoa and Home-made Cheese Salad. Combining spicy vegetables with healthy quinoa, it’s topped off with lovely little lumps of home-made cheese for extra freshness.

 

 

My second recipe of the month was Working Girl’s Baked Ricotta, combining the black olives, capers and chilli of puttanesca fame with eggs, ricotta and bay leaves. Admittedly it’s a bit funny tasting but look, so pretty! 😉

Working Girl's Baked Ricotta
Bringing some Indian flavours to the Challenge this time, Put on Your Cake Pants was back with Chickpea and Cucumber Quinoa Bowls with Home-made Ricotta. Plump fresh tomatoes and chickpeas in spices are mixed with cucumbers and coriander and topped with fluffy home-made cheese.

chickpea cucumber quinoa bowls

 

 

 

 

Edible Things had the cheese-making bug bad by now and so shared her Home-Made Ricotta Gnudi with Tomato and Chilli Sauce. Making genuine ricotta from leftover whey, she transformed it into fluffy little ‘pillows’ of cheesy loveliness in a slightly spicy sauce.

Ricotta Gnudi and Tomato Chilli Sauce
And where there’s a cheese, there’s a whey and so Edible Things rustled up some Lacto-Fermented Vegetables, using the whey to preserve fennel and cucumber with a mixture of herbs and spices. Still fermenting away, we wait with baited breath to see if they tasted nicer than my efforts!

Lacto fermented fennel and cucumber

And finally, surely collapsing with cheese-induced exhaustion by now, she used more of the whey to make Lacto-fermented Gingerade. A recipe I’m dying to try, what better than healthy, fizzy ginger beer? Bring on the summer.

Lacto-fermented Ginger Ale
Sometimes we crave the simpler things and so Saucy Gander rounded up a fruitful month of cheese-making with Whipped Ricotta. Whipping goat’s curd with cream cheese, she stuffed it into dates with chopped pistachios. A gorgeous combination – with some cheese poetry too.

whipped-ricotta-03

It was an amazing array of recipes this month, made all the more exceptional by the fact that all the cheese was made from scratch. I promised the prize of a book for the ‘best’ recipe but I then realised what a terrible task it is to be a judge when so much effort and imagination has gone into the recipes. But I downed a gin, steeled myself and got together with my fellow judge for discussion. It was ridiculously difficult and I would send a copy to you all if I could but the winner this month is…drum-roll…Edible Things for her Home-Made Ricotta Gnudi with Tomato Chilli Sauce. And a big thanks to everyone who contributed this month 🙂

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23 Comments

Filed under cheese please challenge

23 responses to “March’s Cheese, Please! Challenge Round-Up – Fresh Cheese

  1. I am reading each and every one of these for ideas and further drooling. Vats of ricotta at the ready!

  2. Blimey, well I am really honoured, thank you very much! I’m enjoying trawling through the rest of the recipes too. This month was certainly inspiring for a lot of us, thanks to you.
    What will be April’s challenge, I wonder? I can’t wait for the month when we have to milk our own beast 😀

    • I’m really glad you enjoyed it! Email me your details and I will get the book out to you. I read your comment early this morning when I was a bit bleary-eyed and read ‘milk our own beast’ as something quite different, if you see what I mean! That would be a step too far… 😉

  3. I think ediblethings deserved to win for sheer indefatigability as well as the recipes! Kindly don’t take up her challenge however. If I have to milk my own goat I’m leaving the country.

  4. Wow, real ricotta! That’s pretty impressive. I second *not* having to milk our own beasts, being a city gal, I’d have to raid some poor farmer’s cow/goat/buffalo/sheep patch!

  5. Wow! What a fab selection 🙂

  6. Such an array of recipes! I was going to take part but I just ran out of time. I will make my own cheese one day though . . . I will.

  7. that is an amazing bunch of great recipes! One does´t know where to begin when thinking about which one to try first! I guess I have to read it all over again!

  8. I am so impressed with everyone’s creativity! It all sounds yummy, and I plan to try out a couple of the recipes, though (whisper it) I will have to buy the essential ingredient!

  9. Pingback: April’s Cheese, Please! Recipe Blog Challenge – Blue Cheese | Fromage Homage

  10. I’m impressed so many people made their own cheese! I did want to and even went as far as buying muslin but then ran out of time 😦

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